It Hasn’t Sunk In Yet

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted on this blog. That was because of the amount of work I had to get done between June and October, but as of today, my project is officially over. But the book isn’t done yet. I am still processing the end of my project, but I thought it would be good to share some of the things I’ve learned, and give you an update of what’s happening now. Let’s get into it.

abstract art artistic blur
Photo by Kaique Rocha on

Writing this book is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Dealing with heavy emotions day in and day out wore me down a lot more than I expected and challenged me in ways I never considered. I had to look at my actions, understand why I did what I did, and then create a character who made the same choices based on different experiences. Sorting through my past and having a character grow from it forced me to analyze how I’ve grown from the situation and the book itself. I’m more confident now, and able to talk about what happened in a way that could be helpful, rather than one that’s clogged with emotion. I can now use my experiences to try to help others.

Condensing a book from 500 pages to around 175 is a mammoth task. I am naturally long-winded, and shortening my experiences into a well-paced story for others to read, was hard. I had to dismiss what was meaningful to me and exchange it for what would be helpful for others, turning my experiences into a learning opportunity. Shortening chapters took a lot more time than I expected. I had to adjust to seven-hour workdays, which ended with only a chapter and a half to show for it. It was humbling, and it showed me where I truly am as an author, and where I need to improve. I have a long way to go.

green tree
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Keeping myself accountable was a journey in itself. I have a strong work ethic, but, as my deadline approached, I found myself avoiding my work and seeking comfort on the internet instead of buckling down. Not being a procrastinator means I don’t do well with stress, and running out of time makes me want to give up instead of work harder. I didn’t give up, but the work isn’t up to the standard I would like it to be. That taught me that, even though pride in my work is important, sometimes I have to be realistic about what I’m asking of myself, and prepare for that in advance, working harder throughout instead of crushing myself with stress later. To give myself the best chance to succeed, I need to take the time that I need and accept that I’m a bit more human than I would like.

When I started this project, I planned to write, edit, and publish the book in a year. That isn’t what happened. I spent a year writing, editing, and drafting until I produced something I’m mostly happy with.  Next, I plan to have the book edited professionally and then officially published. I’m excited.

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Thank you all for joining me on this journey and showing your support along the way. You’ve all made it so much more bearable and a lot more fun. We still have a ways to go, and I hope you will be encouraged to come along.

Final Tally
Word count: 45,942 words
Chapter count: 27 chapters
Page count: 170 pages
Draft count: 4 drafts
Total hours: 1167 hours 40 minutes worked

forest during sunset
Photo by Artem Saranin on

Project Status: My final committee meeting is on the 24th, where I will get feedback from the project. I haven’t decided whether or not to take the extension yet (the book will be published either way.) I am considering returning to the blog, as I figure out my next steps, to talk about things I’ve gone through in the months of silence, but that isn’t confirmed yet. For now, I’m just going to rest. It’s been a long year.

Thank you all,

The Story So Far

I’ve talked a lot about stress recently. I am hyper-aware of deadlines, not the least of which is a progress report, due next Thursday, which I have to present to the project committee. In light of the meeting, I am going take the opportunity to take stock of all the things that I’ve accomplished thus far, including work on the drafts, my cover art, and my blog. It’s hard, and sometimes it’s good to stop and appreciate how far we’ve already come.

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Photo by Nina Uhlíková on

I started this project last October. I spent a month researching depression, reading and performing interviews, before beginning to write in November. I finished the first draft in mid-January and began editing the the draft, shortening it into what became draft two. While working on draft two, I created an outline for the first draft and, from that, decided on necessary changes to the narrative. I abandoned the second draft and started rewriting the book, resulting in a third draft. I wrote eight chapters of the third draft before losing motivation and winding up where we are now.

I needed a break from rewriting and decided to put my efforts towards my book’s future cover. My graphic artist and I began work on the original cover before I even started writing the book. I had a vague idea of what I wanted, and she worked to bring it into fruition. After a month of work, we decided to shelve the cover until I had written the book, to minimize work lost if the story changed and needed a new concept. This week, we resumed working on it, and, in light of the tone change, the cover was changed to reflect the new, more hopeful look. The cover art has always been the most concrete element of my project, because it is a visual hallmark of what my book will become, and to see how it’s changing and becoming formed is inspiring. The success with the cover and the formatting of the book is coming along well and is a source of hope for the project as a whole.

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Photo by Vraj Shah on

At the beginning of the project, I was very nervous about my blog. I was scared to reach out to people and talk to them about something this important to me. I was afraid of running out of things to say or having to argue for validity. These fears were unfounded, and the blog has been a mainstay of support and encouragement throughout. I’ve been able to engage a readership of people who care about the project and support me through it. The support of my audience, from new and old readers alike, is unparalleled and invaluable. This would be a very different experience without you, and I am grateful for your presence. You make the work better.

On the whole, this project didn’t pan out how I expected. I am not as far along as I hoped I would be and I am scared to present my work. Despite this, the project has come a long way from where we began, and it now has a real presence in the world. It has served to create a community of encouragement and has gone a long way to helping me discover my process. Even if it didn’t turn out the way initially hoped, the project is good; what my colleagues and I have accomplished is good. And, regardless of what happens going forward, nothing takes that progress away. The story so far is a good one and will continue on as such.

person holding a sticky note
Photo by Lisa Fotios on

Thank you for your presence; the work is richer for it.

Project Status: The project is somewhat on hold until the assessment next Thursday.